MILTON ERNEST PARISH COUNCIL

Strawberry Tree Cottage, Radwell Road, Milton Ernest MK44 1RY; 01234 823889

Minutes of the Annual Parish Council Meeting held in the Village Hall on Thursday 2nd May 2013

Meeting commenced 7.34pm

Present:- Cllrs R Atkinson (chair), R Winter, J Williams, D Snowball and D Newman.

Clerk B Gale                            3 Residents

Minutes

Public Forum

  • Litter up the Thurleigh Road mainly beyond the limit of the village litter-picker’s territory, believed to be from vehicles going to and from Twinwoods Business Park.

Action: Clerk to request a litter-pick up Thurleigh Road by BBC.

  • Comment on earlier attempts to get a width restriction on Thurleigh Road.

 

  1. 1.     Election of Chairman for the coming year.

Cllr Atkinson was proposed by Cllr Winter and seconded by Cllr Snowball; there being no other nominations, Cllr Atkinson was duly elected.

Decision:- It was resolved to elect Cllr Atkinson as Chair for the coming year.

  1. 2.     Declaration of Acceptance of Office by Chairman.

In compliance with statutory obligations, Cllr Atkinson signed her Acceptance of Office.

  1. 3.     Election of Vice-chairman.

There being no-one prepared to accept nomination, the decision was deferred to a later meeting.

  1. 4.     Apologies for Absence.

Apologies were received from Cllrs Sharman and Quince.

  1. 5.     Disclosures of Interests.

Members were reminded that where they have a local and/or disclosable pecuniary interest in any business of the Council to be considered at this meeting they must disclose the existence and nature of that interest at the commencement of that consideration, or when the interest becomes apparent, in accordance with the Council’s Code of Conduct.

Cllr Atkinson advised that she was a contributor to the Milton Ernest Environmental Group Facebook page.

  1. 6.     Approval and Signing of Minutes of the meeting on 4th April 2013.

Councillors unanimously accepted these minutes as a true and accurate record of the meeting and they were signed by Chair, Cllr Atkinson.

Decision:- It was resolved to approve the minutes of the meeting of 4th April 2013.

 

  1. 7.     Delegation arrangements to affiliated organizations.

The following appointments were agreed:-

Playing Field Association                                               Cllrs Newman and Winter.

Village Hall Committee                                                   Cllr Winter.

P3 Group                                                                      Cllr Atkinson.

Village Fete Committee                                                  Cllr Sharman (subject to acceptance).

Turner-Rolt Charity                                                         Cllrs Snowball and Newman.

Town & Parish Council Network                                       Cllr Quince (subject to acceptance).

Neighbourhood Development Plan – RAE-DPP                 Cllrs Atkinson and Quince (subject to acceptance).

  1. 8.     Appointment of Councillors to particular interests.

The following appointments were agreed:-

Police Liaison and Neighbourhood Watch             Cllr Snowball.

Internal Review of Accounts                                            Cllr Williams.

  1. 9.     Review and confirmation of the Bedford Borough Council’s Code of Conduct.

Bedford Borough Council has recently revised its Code of Conduct and suggests that parish councils follow suit. Cllr Newman proposed acceptance of the revised document; this was seconded by Cllr Atkinson and agreed unanimously.

Decision:- It was resolved to adopt the revised BBC 2013 Code of Conduct.

 

10.  Review and confirmation of Council’s Standing Orders, Publication Scheme, Risk Assessment document and Financial Regulations.

Cllr Winter proposed acceptance of the current documents; this was seconded by Cllr Williams and agreed unanimously.

Decision:- It was resolved to re-adopt the current Standing Orders, Publication Scheme, Risk Assessment document and Financial Regulations.

 

11.  Review of inventory of assets.

Cllr Williams proposed acceptance of the current inventory of assets as being correct; this was seconded by Cllr Newman and agreed unanimously.

Decision:- It was resolved to accept the current inventory of assets.

 

12.  Review and confirmation of arrangements for insurance cover in respect of all insured risks.

The insurance policy with AVIVA (brokered by Came & Co) was deemed to be adequate. However, it was noted that there was now a requirement to inspect the playing field equipment on a weekly basis which may prove difficult. The clerk was asked to check out this requirement with the brokers and report back. Cllr Williams proposed continuance of the insurance policy subject to the inspection schedule issue being resolved. This was seconded by Cllr Atkinson and agreed unanimously.

Decision:- It was resolved to approve current insurance policy subject to the inspection schedule issue being resolved.

Action:- Clerk to confer with the insurance brokers over the playing field inspection regime.

13.  Review and confirmation of the Council’s membership of other bodies.

Cllr Snowball proposed continuance of membership of both CPRE and BATPC. This was seconded by Cllr Newman and agreed unanimously.

Decision:- It was resolved to continue membership of CPRE and BATPC.

 

14.  Setting the dates, times and place of ordinary meetings of the Council for the year ahead.

Cllr Newman proposed continuance of the current practise of holding the meetings in the Village Hall at 8.00pm on the first Thursday of every month (except August), except due to unforeseen circumstances. Any deviations will be to be clearly advertised. This was seconded by Cllr Atkinson and agreed unanimously.

Decision:- It was resolved to hold meetings on the first Thursday of each month (except August).

 

15.  Planning Applications

            a. 13/00490/FUL, Change of use for storage rooms, Bodyflight Ltd, Twinwoods BP, ME, MK44 1FD.

It was noted that Bodyflight had heeded the Council’s concerns and were changing their literature to direct clients directly to the gate of Twinwoods Business Park.

            b. 13/00310/FUL & 13/00310/LBC, extension at The Old Rectory, Thurleigh Road, ME, MK44 1RF.

This application has been withdrawn.

16.  Matters Arising – for information only

            a. Report on progress of road layout and signage around Thurleigh Rd. (09/10/4p)

Via email, Cllr McMurdo advised that the BBC Highways Dept had formally issued instructions to prepare plans for a width restriction and signage change scheme which should be available by the end of May in time for the Council’s next meeting. The petition from the residents of Thurleigh Road was read out and the Council agreed to formally support the scheme, subject to review of the design and costings.

Decision:- It was resolved to support the Thurleigh Road BBC width restriction and signage change scheme, subject to review of the design and costings.

Action: Clerk to advise The Highways Dept of the Council’s support in principle for the width restriction scheme and urge the availability of plans and design details by the end of May.

            b. Report on Old post Office & other footpaths. (09/02/6a)

It was noted that Amey were still to address the problem with Old Post Office footpath.

Action: Clerk to confirm with Amey when the footpath re-work will be done.

17.  Parish Action Plan – for information only

            a. Report on progress with A6 “average speed” cameras. (07/12/11d)

A few vehicles were still noted to be going fast up the A6. Prosecution statistics are needed. It was noted that the northern camera had be misaligned; this has been reported. It was further noted that the Council’s suggestion about an extra warning sign closer to the southern camera was now being taken seriously by the Highways Dept.

Action: Clerk to liaise with Cllr McMurdo over police progress with speeding prosecutions.

            b. Report on progress with Land Registry. (07/04/8)

It was noted the clerk had signed his statutory declaration so the claim would be made, hopefully within the week.

            c. Report on progress with allotment provision. (08/07/6h)

Cllr McMurdo has still to re-establish contact with the main stakeholders viz. Bedfordia, Majesticare and Allsops, the Twinwoods administrator.

Action: Clerk to liaise with Cllr McMurdo to try and get definitive response from allotment stakeholders.

18.  Finance

a. Acceptance of Monthly Reconciliation.

 Financial Situation @ 30th April 2013
 Bank Balances @ 31st March 2013    
 HSBC Community A/C  £  20,575.62  
 HSBC BMM  £          27.16  
 Total in bank accounts  £  20,602.78  £     20,602.78
 Receipts since last reconciliation    
 VAT Refund  £       396.78  
 Precept  £    7,066.50  
 Total  £    7,463.28  £       7,463.28
 Total    £     28,066.06
 Payments since last reconciliation    
 Clerk’s Expenses  £          30.00  
 Ben Combe Litter picking  £          30.00  
 Mrs H Snowball – Neighbourhood Watch  £          10.00  
 Villager Minibus  £       150.00  
 Bedfordshire Regiment Memorial Donation  £          50.00  
 RAE-DPP Contribution  £       125.00  
 All Saints Donation/ Villager Sponsorship  £    1,150.00  
 Total  £    1,545.00  £       1,545.00
 Calculated Balance @ 30th April  2013    £     26,521.06
 c/w Actual Bank Balances @ 30th April  2013  
 HSBC Community A/C  £  26,493.90  
 HSBC BMM  £          27.16  
 Total in bank accounts  £  26,521.06  £     26,521.06
 Receipts yet to be credited    
 None  £                -    
 Total  £                -    £                    -  
 Cheques not presented    
 None  £                -    £                    -  
 Total  £                -    £                    -  
 Payments to be made    
 Clerk’s Expenses  £          30.00  
 Ben Combe Litter picking  £          40.00  
 Internal Auditor invoice  £          50.00  
 Express Monitoring – web-site  £       117.60  
 Broker Network Ltd – Insurance  £       920.55  
 BATPC  £       156.00  
 Total  £    1,314.15  £       1,314.15
 Total Committed Expenditure    £       1,314.15
 Latest position    £     25,206.91
 Ring-fenced Funds    £       5,722.60
 Position at month-end exc. ring-fenced funds    £     19,484.31

Decision:- It was resolved to approve the bank reconciliation.

            b. – Payments to be made.

Decision:- It was resolved to effect the above payments (except for the insurance premium).

Action:- Clerk to make payments.

            c. Internal Auditors Report on Accounts to 31st March 2013.

The Internal Auditors Report, indicating that there were no issues which needed to be brought to the Council’s attention, was presented.

d. Acceptance of Year end Accounts.

The year end accounts were presented; Cllr Williams proposed their approval; this was seconded by Cllr Newman and agreed unanimously.

Decision:- It was resolved to accept the year end accounts.

e. Report on Accounts to the External Auditor.

The Council having received a copy of the Statement of Accounts and the proposed responses in the Annual Governance Statement in the Return to the External Auditor relating to the Council’s Accounts of the year ending 31st March 2013, Cllr Williams proposed their approval; this was seconded by Cllr Newman and agreed unanimously. As chair, Cllr Atkinson signed the document.

Decision:- It was resolved to accept the Annual Return to the External Auditor.

Action:- Clerk to submit the Statement of Accounts to the External Auditor.

 

19.  Village Welfare

            a. 64 Radwell Road.

It was noted that there had been no developments concerning insurance issues but the Council wished to be seen to be acting as a good owner would and would like to mitigate the effects of trees by reducing them in size. From the quotations received, Cllr Newman proposed accepting that from The Treepeople (£150 and £200 to reduce the horsechestnut and maples respectively); this was seconded by Cllr Winter and agreed unanimously. It was suggested that the plot in question had not been mowed recently; Cllr Snowball will check.

Decision:- It was resolved to accept the Treepeople’s quotation to reduce the horsechestnut and two Norway maples adjacent to 64 Radwell Road.

Actions:- Clerk to order the tree reduction work from the Treepeople.

                 Cllr Snowball to check mowing of 64 Radwell Road plot.

            b. Riverside Meadow Maintenance Plan.

It was noted that Steve Dilley had cut the hedge in accordance with the Council’s requirements; it took him considerably longer than anticipated but he had made great improvements. The waste was cleared by a team of local volunteers and the Council wished to express their appreciation of all the hard work which had been put in. The clerk will write to all concerned. It was noted that the grass cutting of the meadow did not seem to have been done in accordance with the Council’s instructions; the clerk will advise Graingers.

Actions:- Clerk to write expressing appreciation for the work at Riverside Meadow.

                Clerk to remind Graingers of the requested cutting specifications.

            c. Riverside Meadow Enhancement.

Since the receipt of the letter from the Bedfordshire Wildlife Trust, no progress has been made; it was decided that Cllr Atkinson should write to the Trust to try and open a dialogue over what developments they would support. It was noted that ME Garden Centre would like to donate a memorial bench for Sheila Ibbett and would like the Council to install it at a location agreed by it and Clifton Ibbett. Cllr Newman will investigate.

Actions:- Cllr Newman to investigate locations for the memorial bench.

                Cllr Atkinson to draft a letter the Wildlife Trust.

            d. Installation of Village “gates”.

The clerk advised that the necessary license had at last been received from BBC and that the “gates” were scheduled to be installed on 4th May.

            e. Cultivation of the “Brandon Strip”.

The clerk reported he had had a meeting with the new resident of 36 Radwell Road on 6th April; the resident explained his views and the clerk wrote a brief report for the Council but sent it to the resident first to ensure it reflects his views accurately; no response has yet been received. In anticipation that of his agreement with the report, the Council felt that all that could be done was to get the plot cleared as had been agreed earlier and then to grass it.

Actions:- Clerk to order the clearance of the strip.

                Clerk to ask contractor for quotes to seed and turf the strip.

            f. Neighbourhood Development Plan for the village.

A meeting is scheduled for 30th May.

            g. Recruitment of new clerk.

The current clerk advised that he had put advertisements in all the places agreed resulting in one application so far, and this from a lady who would be unable to make the first Thursday of every month until late in 2013. However, more applications were anticipated soon.

            h. New Village Welfare raised by Councillors.

              i.        Large potholes were reported by the Queens Head and along Paula Radcliff Way.

Action:- Clerk to advise Highways Helpdesk of potholes.

            ii.        A churned up area of grass was noted at a garage access point along Huntsmans Way; Cllr Snowball will bring more detailed information to the next meeting.

Action:- Cllr Snowball to progress action on churned grass area in Huntsmans Way.

           iii.        A request from the ME Lower School for a grant to help develop the old swimming pool area was received. Cllr Atkinson will bring it to the next meeting.

Action:- Cllr Atkinson to progress grant application from the ME Lower School.

           iv.        It was noted that BBC had intervened over the construction of a driveway at the junction of Radwell Road and River lane.

             v.        A resident noted that the crossing time at the zebra crossing was too short; this will be raised with Highways Helpdesk.

Action:- Clerk to request Highways Helpdesk to extend crossing time.

           vi.        A resident expressed concern over street lights being turned off.

 

20.  Correspondence – for information only; documents in the circulation file

  1. From BBC press release concerning April spring cleaning. Put on web-site.
  2. From BBC press release concerning G&T site application.
  3. From BBC press release concerning BBC trials of grass-land meadow plots.
  4. From BBC concerning a consultation on school transport.
  5. From BBC press release concerning prosecution of Litterers. Put on web-site.
  6. From BATPC concerning a DCLG survey.
  7. From Beds Regimental Appeal Fund – thanks for donation.
  8. From Bedford Allergy Support Group concerning an event on 4th June at The Corn Exchange.
  9. From CPRE a new Transport Toolkit.
  10. From BBC Planning Dept – consultation on Community Infrastructure Levy Draft Charging Levy, concludes 30th May 2013.
  11. From BBC Planning Dept – consultation on Local Planning Lists; concludes 13th June 2013.
  12. From BBC – advance notice of the Borough Assembly, 9th July 2013.

 

21.  Reports by Representatives

            a. Neighbourhood Development Plan – RAE-DPP

A meeting for the 30th May was noted.

            b. Village Hall committee

A committee meeting is scheduled in about 2 weeks.

            c. Playing Field Association Committee

There is to be a meeting on 20th May at which the recently received inspection report will be considered.

            d. P3 Sub-committee

It was noted that P3 members had been involved in waste clearance at Riverside Meadow.

            e. Village Fete Committee

No report but a meeting is scheduled for 15th May.

            f. Neighbourhood Watch

It was noted that ME Lower School had requested some security marking. Further, four crimes, including a burglary, were reported in April.

22.  Review of Actions Summary from the last meeting

Item in April 2013 minutes Who Action Refer/

Completed

5.1 DMcM To send Thurleigh Road development plans for clerk to circulate to residents of Thurleigh Road and ME Lower school. See item 16a above
5.3 Resident To finalize submission. Complete
6.1 DMcM To check with the police over progress with prosecutions. See item 17a above
6.1 Clerk To re-contact the Highways Dept over an extra sign. See item 17a above
6.2 DMcM To re-contact allotment stakeholders. See item 17c above
7.2 Clerk To make agreed payments. Complete
8.3 DN To revise the maintenance regime to incorporate the above changes. Complete
8.5 Clerk To progress “gate” installation. See item 19d above
8.6 Clerk To progress the Brandon Strip project. See item 19e above
8.8a Clerk To place notices and advise BATPC about vacancy for clerk. Complete
8.8b Clerk To progress repair of man-hole covers. Complete
8.8c Clerk To report defective lights. Complete
8.8d DMcM To highlight A6 accidents to BBC authorities. Complete
8.8e Clerk To write to all nearby neighbours about parking. C/F
8.8f DMcM To request Highways Helpdesk to effect change to crossing lights timing. See 19hv above
8.8g Clerk To progress clearance with Grangers. C/F
8.8h DMcM To progress sewage leak with Anglian Water and BBC Environmental Health. Complete
10.3 DMcM To visit playing field with an Environmental Health officer. C/F

 

23.  Member’s Calendar

DS 8-15/5; 25-29/5.

24.  Date of next meeting

The next meeting will be on 6th June 2013 at 8.00pm at The Village Hall, Milton Ernest.

The Chair offered her thanks to all attendees and the meeting closed at 10.00pm.

These minutes were signed as a true record of the meeting.

Signature……………………………………………………..                                Date………………………………

                  Mrs R Atkinson, Chair